KEY POINTS FROM SURVEY
Permanent placements growth hits highest since October 1997
Demand for staff improves to greatest extent in 23 years
Marked drop in candidates availability places upward pressure on pay
FOR THE NORTH OF ENGLAND
Permanent placements and temp billings rise sharply
Candidate availability falls at notably sharper rate
Starting rates of pay increase amid stronger demand for workers
RECRUITMENT ACTIVITY CONTINUES TO REBOUND IN APRIL AS EASING OF LOCKDOWN BOOSTS MARKET CONFIDENCE
Commenting on the latest survey results, Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, said:
“There’s a lot to feel positive about this month, with the easing of lockdown improving business confidence in the economy and in turn driving a sharp rise in recruitment.
“However, it’s concerning that we’re seeing a drop in candidate supply due in part to applicants needing support to adapt their skills to move from displaced sectors to those where there is more demand, such as health and care, and because the furlough scheme has reduced the pool of workers.
“Companies will not be able to fill their vacancies unless they commit to reskilling and upskilling their current and prospective employees. This includes providing furloughed staff with training and working with recruiters to make sure as wide a range of candidates are considered for jobs. Businesses have a fundamental role to play in bridging the increased skills gap that’s emerged from the pandemic.”
Ian Beaumont, Office Senior Partner for KPMG in Newcastle, said:
“It is great to see another positive month for the jobs market in the North. Further growth in permanent staff appointments and temp billings suggest we are now on a steady path to recovery as the roadmap to easing restrictions across the country progresses. Not only have we seen a return to pre-pandemic levels of permanent staff appointments but it is at its highest rate in more than four years and temp billings have seen its fastest rise since 2015. It is clear that confidence is returning across the North East as employers in our area look to hire for a more optimistic and busy year ahead..”
Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive, said:
“The jobs market is improving at one of the fastest rates we have ever seen, and that’s great news. We are bouncing back from a record low – and many people are still struggling – but the data shows that job creation is firing up again. This month’s numbers for permanent hiring are the best we’ve seen since the survey started in 1997. Temporary hiring has chalked up its ninth straight month of growth, demonstrating again how important temporary agency work is to getting families and businesses back on their feet.
“The message for government and employers alike is that the long-term challenge is less likely to be high unemployment than attracting and training enough staff to keep our economy firing. Companies need to be thinking about their workforce planning and employee offer, which professional recruitment firms are best placed to support them with. Government needs to urgently tackle shortfalls in the skills system, and make sure the new immigration system is more responsive to our economic needs.”
DEMAND FOR STAFF BY SECTOR
April survey data signalled a second successive monthly rise in permanent placements across the UK. Furthermore, the rate of growth accelerated to the fastest since the survey began in October 1997. More than half of the panel (53%) registered an increase in the latest survey period, compared to around 15% that noted a decline. Recruitment consultants linked the upturn to an improvement in market confidence and higher vacancies as national lockdown measures were eased and business conditions began to normalise.
Permanent staff appointments expanded at historically sharp rates across all four monitored English regions, with the Midlands recording the steepest increase overall.
IT & Computing saw the steepest increase in permanent staff vacancies in April, followed by Accounting/Financial and Engineering. Retail was the only sector to register lower demand for permanent staff, though the decline was only modest.
Billings received from the employment of short-term staff increased for the ninth month running in April. The rate of expansion eased only slightly from March's 40-month record and remained marked overall. According to panellists, stronger demand for workers amid the easing of pandemic related restrictions and the recommencement of previously delayed projects had boosted billings at the start of the second quarter.
Substantial growth in temp billings was seen across all four monitored English areas bar London, where a mild expansion was noted.
All of the ten monitored job categories recorded higher demand for temporary staff in April except for Retail, which noted a marginal reduction. Blue Collar and Construction registered the strongest rises in demand for short-term workers.
Hotel & Catering
SKILLS IN SHORT SUPPLY
Key Permanent Staff Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Estimators, Finance, Investment, Payroll, Risk and Taxation.
Blue Collar: Drivers, HGV Drivers, HVAC, Production, Refrigeration, Warehouse.
Construction: Architectural Technicians, Quantity Surveyors.
Engineering: Maintenance Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Senior Electronic Engineers, Technicians.
Executive/ Professional: B2B, Compliance, Conveyancers, Executives, HR, Law, Management, Marketing, Project Managers.
IT/Computing: Agile Project Managers, Automation Testers, Bi, C#, Cyber, Cyber Security, Data Professionals, Data Scientists, Developers, Digital, IT, Software Technicians.
Nursing/Medical /Care: Carers, Health Care Assistants, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Nurses, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Support Workers.
Secretarial/ Clerical: Administration, General Office Staff, Sales Administrators.
Other: Commercial, Customer Service, Customs, Life Science, Operations, Sales, Supply Chain, Skilled, Unskilled.
Key Temp Skills
Accountancy/Financial: Accountants, Auditors, Book Keepers, Credit Controllers, Finance, Payroll.
Blue Collar: Drivers, FLT Drivers, Manufacturing, Packers, Production, Rail, Warehouse and Welders.
Construction: Architectural Technicians, Bricklayers, Labourers.
Engineering: Design Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Radio Frequency Engineers.
Executive/Professional: Legal, t Managers.
Hotels/Catering: None recorded.
IT/Computing: Cyber, Data Professionals, Data Developers, Data Scientists, IT, Java, Software Engineers, Technology.
Nursing/Medical/Care: Carers, Doctors, Health Care Assistants, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Nurses, Optometrists.
Secretarial/Clerical: Administration, Office Staff and Receptionists.
Other: Commercial, Customer Service, Operations, Sales, Semi-Skilled and Unskilled.
KINGSTON RECRUITMENT LTD
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